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386BSD, sometimes called "Jolix"[1], was a free Unix-like operating system based on BSD, first released in 1992. It ran on PC compatible computer systems based on the Intel 80386 microprocessor. 386BSD innovations include role-based security, ring buffers, self-ordered configuration and modular kernel design.



386BSD was written mainly by Berkeley alumni Lynne Jolitz and William Jolitz. William Jolitz had considerable experience with prior BSD releases while at the University of California at Berkeley (2.8 and 2.9BSD) and both contributed code to Berkeley developed at Symmetric Computer Systems during the 1980s. Work on porting 4.3BSD-Reno and later 4.3BSD Net/2 to the Intel 80386 was done for the University of California by William Jolitz at Berkeley. 4.3BSD Net/2 was an incomplete non-operational release, with portions withheld by the University of California as encumbered (i.e. subject to an AT&T UNIX source code license). The 386BSD releases made to the public beginning in 1992 were based on portions of the 4.3BSD Net/2 release coupled with additional code (see Missing Pieces I and II, Dr. Dobb's Journal, May–June 1992) written by William and Lynne Jolitz to make a complete operational release.

The port began in 1989 and the first, incomplete traces of the port can be found in 4.3BSD Net/2 of 1991. It was first released in March 1992 (version 0.0) and in a much more usable version on July 14, 1992 (version 0.1). The porting process with code was extensively documented in an 18-part series written by Lynne Jolitz and William Jolitz in Dr. Dobbs Journal beginning in January 1991.

FreeBSD and NetBSD

After the release of 386BSD 0.1, a group of users began collecting bug fixes and enhancements, releasing them as an unofficial patchkit. Due to differences of opinion between the Jolitzes and the patchkit maintainers over the future direction and release schedule of 386BSD, the maintainers of the patchkit founded the FreeBSD project in 1993 to continue their work[2]. Around the same time, the NetBSD project was founded by a different group of 386BSD users, with the aim of unifying 386BSD with other strands of BSD development into one multi-platform system. Both projects continue to this day.

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